Can You Donate Blood If You Have a Tattoo

Many people incorrectly believe that getting a tattoo prevents them from donating blood. The truth is that most tattooed persons may donate blood as long as they don't have any diseases. Before donating blood, a person may need to wait 12 months after obtaining a tattoo. Again, it is to make sure they haven't contacted any illnesses due to the tattoo. Learn more about blood donation restrictions and how long you should wait after having a tattoo in this article.

Is it possible to give blood if you have a tattoo?

Most tattooed people can donate blood if they don't have any risk factors preventing or limiting blood donation. For example, people who receive tattoos in states where tattoo shops are regulated and don't reuse ink can donate blood immediately away. However, if a person gets a tattoo that does not belong to tattoo shops, they must wait 12 months to ensure that the tattoo did not cause them to contract a contagious disease.

The following states do not need tattoo shops to be licensed:

The District of Columbia is located in the United States of America.





New Hampshire

New York is a city in the United States.



Individuals who acquire tattoos in prison, people who apply their tattoos, and those who get tattoos in states with regulations but unregulated artists or facilities must also wait before donating blood.

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When are you able to donate blood?

Before a person donates blood, the American Red Cross requires a 12-month wait after having a tattoo at an unlicensed facility. It is related to the possibility of contracting hepatitis. Hepatitis is a condition in which the liver becomes inflamed. Both hepatitis B and C are highly contagious and possibly fatal, especially in persons who already have significant health problems. These types of hepatitis can be transmitted by contacting hepatitis-infected blood. It might happen during or after a blood donation. After exposure, it can take up to 6 months to develop hepatitis symptoms. 

Because the 12-month waiting time is longer than the hepatitis incubation period, it ensures that a person with the disease should not donate blood and unwittingly spread the virus to others. People who receive tattoos at regulated and licensed establishments don't have to wait for their blood drawn.

Other rules and regulations

The restrictions on who can give blood and when they can donate it are in place to safeguard recipients from infections that could be fatal. Blood transfusion recipients are often sick, and catching a contagious disease could kill them. Regulations likewise protect blood donors. However, some persons, such as those with anemia, may experience adverse side effects from blood donation.

The following are some restrictions on blood donation in the United States:

  • Infections: People with disease symptoms should seek treatment for the condition before they donate blood.
  • Bleeding disorder: Persons suffering from certain bleeding disorders may not donate blood safely.
  • Blood transfusion: Those who have had blood transfusions indeed have to wait for at least one year before donating.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Persons with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or a similar condition cannot donate blood.
  • Donating blood after having sex with men: Men who have had sex with other men, regardless of their sexual preference or identity, must wait 12 months before giving blood. The American Red Cross is lobbying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cut the waiting period to three months.
  • Ebola virus: People affected by the Ebola virus can not donate blood.
  • Hepatitis: People who have ever had Hepatitis C or B cant give their blood. Those who live with or have sex with someone who has hepatitis must wait 12 months before donating.
  • HIV: People with HIV or AIDS should not donate blood and those who have ever had a positive HIV test. Before donating blood, people at high risk for HIV should discuss their chances with the blood donation center's health history.
  • Intravenous (IV) drug use: Those who have ever used recreational IV drugs can donate their blood.
  • Travel: If you have recently travelled to the countries where people are affected from any dangerous disease then you must not try to donate blood even if you are donating for a social cause. When you come back from that affected country, you have to wait for 12 months to donate blood to save a person's life. For example, following a trip to a country at a heavy risk for dengue or malaria, you should wait for at least twelve months before deciding to donate the blood.
  • Organ and tissue transplants: If recently your organ has changed, you will not qualify to donate blood. You should wait for one year.
  • Piercings: If the needles are sterile and the piercing does not use a piercing gun, it is safe to donate blood after obtaining a piercing. If the piercer used a weapon or the instruments were not clean, you would have to wait for twelve months or you can say one year before donating blood to a needy person.
  • Sexually transmitted infections : Persons having with gonorrhea or syphilis must wait 12 months after treatment to donate blood. Chlamydia, herpes, human papillomavirus, and genital warts prohibit blood donation for a certain period of time.
  • Sickle cell disease: If you are affected with sickle cell disease, you should not donate blood to the needy person. In that case, his life will also be at a high risk level. But you can donate blood to the same person who is also affected by this disease.
  • Tuberculosis: Persons having Tuberculosis should not donate blood until the infection is gone completely.
  • Zika virus: Those who are affected from Zika virus, can't donate blood to the other person. They have to wait for more than 100 days to donate blood and do noble causes.

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Donating blood has a lot of advantages.

  • You can save many lives by donating blood.
  • In the United States, someone needs blood every three seconds, necessitating roughly 32,000 pints of blood every day. 
  • Without blood transfusions, an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States would die each year; thus, hospitals require a stable supply.
  • However, less than 38% of the US population meets the blood donation eligibility requirements at any given time. 
  • Don't rely on others because most people are unable to donate.

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Final words from Author

Blood donation saves lives. Many people can donate blood even if they have a recent tattoo.

Some states have various rules, and a person may be required to wait a year before donating. We hope you will like our post. Kindly share our article with your friends, relatives and social media platforms. See you very soon with the new topic. Till then, take care and read all the articles regularly.

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